Hey Razzball(football) community! August is right around the corner and I got the itch to take part in a mock draft. We are just about to wrap it up, only kicker and defense left to pick. I just could not wait and wanted to share all my mocking fun with you.
Here are the outlines for the mock draft.
It was a 12 team, slow mock draft, that started on July 12th and each owner had 12 hours per pick. It was a standard scoring with ppr(1).
Our roster consisted of:
QB-2RB-2WR-FLX(RB-WR)-TE-K-DEF & 7 bench slots
I was slotted in the 8th spot out of 12 teams.
Round 1.) Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots- With Foster, Rice, McCoy, Mathews & Calvin off the board. My mind was set on going with one of the big two TE's. I had both as options but like Gronkowski better in both formats but could go either way in a PPR format. In games which Gronkowski was targeted only 6 times or fewer(6 games) he still recorded 5 TD's. The targets should be less but the TD's will still be a major factor in 2012!
Round 2.) Matt Forte, RB, Bears- Before getting hurt last year he was on pace for over 1,982 total yards, 69.3 catches and 5.3 total TD's. I have him penciled in for at least 1600+ total yards, 60 catches & handful of TD's. So like I told the guys I was drafting with you can't see me but if you could I have a big smile:)
Round 3.) Steven Jackson, RB, Rams- To say this was a plesant surprise would be an understatement. He may be turning 29 very soon but he will be in line for another year of 300+ carries and 40+ catches. An excellent RB2 option in any format come August.
Round 4.) Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings- When Christian Ponder took over the helm at QB for the Vikings. We saw a stat line of 6.2 catches, 88.5 total yards & .72 TD's. With Ponder leading the charge & AP and his injury. It's going to be a fun year to own Mr. Harvin.
Round 5.) Kenny Britt, WR, Titans- This was the first time in the draft that I had a player snipe from me. I was hoping to land Antonio Brown(WR) with this pick. A healthy Britt is a top five WR(fantasy) option and is a huge value play at this point if he is healthy! Also remember that this was a slow mock and news about his knee scope did not come out till a couple days after I drafted him. SPOILER ALERT(you will see why I'm not too worried about drafting Britt later)
Round 6.) Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons- I got greedy and was hoping that Stevie Johnson(WR) would slide to me this round. That was not the case as he was drafted a few spots before. So I decided not to wait on my QB any longer and went with Matt Ryan. Not only did he have a killer second half in 2011 but the Falcons say they will be throwing more, using the no huddle & with weapons like Julio Jones whats not to like this year?
Round 7.) Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers- I knew I wanted to grab either Redman, Starks or Willis with this pick. I am not expecting much or really anything from Mendenhall this year. That really leaves him with not much of any competition for touches and guy who could get me 1,100+ total yards, 30+ catches & 8 total TD's at pick 80 is outstanding value.
Round 8.) Michael Bush, RB, Bears- I knew after drafting Matt Forte I had to make drafting this player a top priority. This was before Matt Forte had signed his new contract with the Bears. Even though Forte is not an injury concern. We have seen what Bush can do when inserted as a starter. He becomes an instant RB1 in all formats if Forte is to go down or at the time miss traning camp.
Round 9.) Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets- Remember last summer when this guy was going in the 5th round of your draft? I do and he disappointed a lot of fantasy owners. Now fast forward to summer(2012) and we see no more Burress on the opposite side and with his absence leaves more targets. With extra targets he is sure to land. I don't see why we can not expect more catches & yards to go along with his 8 TD's from last year. He is not coming off the board till the 9th round and I say don't be afraid folks he will be a serviceable WR3.
Round 10.) Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints- THIS PICK SCREAMS VALUE!!! He was the 46th RB off the board in a PPR format. Even if all three of the RB's(Sproles, Thomas & Ingram) stay healthy he is a solid RB3 option in PPR formats. Now say if either one of them goes down his value jumps into the RB2 range.
Rounds 11.) Brian Quick, WR, Rams- I selected my first rookie of the draft and felt like it was representing good value. He is the number one WR on a team with not many other options on the outside. I don't see why we can not expect a floor of around 90+ targets and 5 TD's as a rookie.
Round 12.) Nate Washington, WR, Titans- I know in the fantasy football community we handcuff our RB's. Is it proper to go ahead and handcuff one of your top WR options? Well, I don't know but I went ahead and did it with this pick. From weeks 3-17 last year(Britt injured) he gave us a stat line of 4.3 catches, 61.2 yards & .5 TD's. It won't be the WR1 production a healthy Britt would give us but he gets us WR2 production in the 12th round.
Round 13.) Kevin Smith, RB, Lions- The value kept falling into my lap as the draft continued to get deeper. From weeks 10-14 we got a stay line of 91.7 total yards, 3.75 catches & 1 total TD per game. I will not be shock if at the WMD of the year we look back and say that Kevin Smith was the best value back out of the Lions backfield in 2012.
Round 14.) Alex Smith, QB, 49ers- I know people want to make fun of him when ever you talk real or fake football. I would like to point out that he finished the year rank number 14(fantasy) among QB's last year. The 49ers also went out and added some weapons on the outside(RB too) through free agency(Moss & Manningham) & the draft(Jenkins & LMJ). I would have to say these additions would make one think they are going to want to throw the football a bit more this year. I was able to get him as the 22nd QB off the board and he represents solid QB2 production.
So at the end of the draft my roster look lol
QB- Matt Ryan & Alex Smith
RB- Matt Forte, Steven Jackson, Isaac Redman, Michael Bush, Pierre Thomas & Kevin Smith
WR- Percy Harvin, Kenny Britt, Santonio Holmes, Brian Quick & Nate Washington
TE- Rob Gronkowski
What did I take away from doing my first mock draft?
If you have been reading Sky's articles and then checking the comments sections, I was a big supporter of going RB-RB. No matter what point in the first round try and come out RB-RB. Now I have changed my tune a bit and if you are in the middle to late first round, don't be scared to select one of the two top TE's. You have a distinct advantage over everybody in your league. They are more safe of a play then say CJ?K, Run DMC & MJD. I also know TE is fielded with depth this year but Gronk & Graham are in there own fantasy world. Plus one of the following RB's like Forte, Richardson, Sproles or Charles will be an option in the 2nd round.
I'm going to sound like a broken record but the QB and WR position is so very deep with talent. You don't need to spend one of your top five picks on a QB. With the likes of Ryan, Rivers, Eli & Big Ben all going after the 6th round in my draft. The WR spot is filled with WR1 talent in the first four rounds of drafts. It just makes it that much eaiser to pursue RB-RB or start with Gronkowski in Round 1. The way the WR spot is shaping up, you should be able to still land a WR3 option in the 9th round.
Always be on the look out for value in the middle to late part of your draft. Anybody can draft a good team in the first five rounds. It's the owners who are able to spot these value buys that will be competiting for a shot at the title. I found a ton of value just falling into my que box as I got into the later rounds of this draft.
Best value picks for me:
Isaac Redman(7th), Santonio Holmes(9th), Pierre Thomas(10th), Brian Quick(11th), Nate Washington(12th), Kevin Smith(13th) & Alex Smith(14th)
I hope this was an enjoyable read and helpful at the same time. Maybe I was able to help bring a new way for you to think about approaching your fantasy draft. I would really like to get some feedback from the Razzball community wether it be writers or readers all is welcomed. If it's positive(great) but even if it's negative let me know. That what these mocks are for to discuss and learn from them.